• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

With medical advances promising ever more detailed pre-natal genetic screening, do we have a duty to prevent the birth of physically and/or mentally impaired individuals?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

With medical advances promising ever more detailed pre-natal genetic screening, do we have a duty to prevent the birth of physically and/or mentally impaired individuals? ABSTRACT: Medical advances, notably PGD, offer the chance to ensure that children can be born with much lower chances of developing disabilities. It is argued in this essay that disability itself is always a hindrance, and it is not only society's right, but its duty to prevent disability where possible to ensure social justice. Arguments against the proposition are addressed, notably the view that working to eradicate disability indicates a lack of respect for existing individuals who are disabled. This is refuted, and it is concluded that just as established medicine works to promote health to the cost of disease, these emerging technologies are morally justified and their implementation required where resources allow. ESSAY: Disability has traditionally had a significant social stigma attached to it. It is usually defined in terms of some sort of impairment to the individual, whether physical or mental, which prevents them from performing one or more day-to-day activities as well as a normal human being in similar circumstances.i It is uncontroversial to suggest that society has a duty to accommodate these individuals, and for medicine to seek to improve or cure their conditions. Much more contentious however are new technologies offered by medical science, which give the chance to actively prevent the birth of babies which will be disabled. The desired outcomes from these two approaches are the same, yet the methods are considered by many to be in entirely different moral ballparks. Who decides which disabilities are bad enough to prevent life? ...read more.

Middle

If their actions lead to the birth of a disabled child, then they can be considered guilty of impersonal harm. This is the concept that even if no identifiable people are worse off than they could have been, harm can still be donex , which is a contravention of medical ethics. To illustrate this, imagine a nuclear reactor exploding through negligent maintenance, and as a result of the radioactive fallout, mothers gave birth to deformed children (conceived after accident). Those children did not exist when the reactor exploded, but the people who caused the explosion are still responsible for the children's deformities. The next key point is that of beneficence. A doctor is obligated to offer to do good where possible within their sphere of medical influence. By preventing the birth of a child who will most likely have a disability, the doctor has done a good thing by that child for reasons of social justice and the benefits to the child's quality of life. Critics of PGD support the treatment or cure of an individual with a disability, but draw a distinction between this and the active prevention of a disabled human being born. They argue that preventing the life of a human can hardly be deemed beneficial to that human, and that by picking one embryo over another, one able bodied life has been valued as more worthwhile than a life with a disability. This question strikes at the core of medicine. Nearly everybody deems a state of health to be preferable to one of illness. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is my view that we have a clear duty to prevent disability wherever possible, and that this should be available to everybody from the NHS to prevent a social super-class of disease free affluent people coming into existence. At the moment there may be more pressing priorities in healthcare than universally available PGD, but this does not change the fact that it is ethically permissible and when resources allow, required. i Disability Discrimination Act, 1995 ii Handyside AH, Delhanty JD., 1997, Preimplantation genetic diagnosis: strategies and surprises, Trends Genet. 13(7) pp.270-275 iii U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003, Questions And Answers About Epidermis Bullosa, National Institute For Health, No. 03-7038 iv Glover J., Future People, Disability And Screening, 2001 in Harris J.(ed.), Bioethics (pp.431), UK: OUP v Gene Genies Video Transcript, Bioethics BL3152 Resource page, 31st January 2007, University Of Manchester Faculty Of Life Sciences Intranet - www.sbsinfo.man.ac.uk vi W. Glannon, Biomedical Ethics (Fundamentals Of Philosophy), 2005, pp.235-238, UK:OUP vii Harris J., The Value Of Life, 1985, pp.31-33 UK: TJ International Ltd viii W. Glannon, Biomedical Ethics (Fundamentals Of Philosophy), 2005, pp.1-32, UK:OUP ix Harris J., The Value Of Life, 1985, pp.31-33 UK: TJ International Ltd x J. Glover, Future People, Disability And Screening, 2001 in Harris (ed.), Bioethics (pp.437), UK: OUP xi Case: Re R(Minor) - Blood Transfusion [1993] 2FLR 757 xii Catechism Of The Catholic Church, number 2378, www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm xiii Glover J., Future People, Disability And Screening, 2001 in Harris J.(ed.), Bioethics (pp.433), UK: OUP xiv Gene Genies Video Transcript, Bioethics BL3152 Resource page, 31st January 2007, University Of Manchester Faculty Of Life Sciences Intranet - www.sbsinfo.man.ac.uk ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Problem Based Learning cases section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Problem Based Learning cases essays

  1. reflective case study

    i.e. novice to expert. I was really unsettled with the idea of having to perform a procedure that I had very little experience of, on a child. Jamie was in fact the first child I had examined in my placements. Burnard (1994) suggests that some practitioners find the treatment of children to be somewhat difficult.

  2. Clinical care case study. Mrs. Burton was left with a mixture of emotion mostly ...

    The evidence would suggest that all health professionals including nursed should always make the client feel that they were interested in what they had to say. Mrs. Burton felt he had not been given any helpful feedback or advice by his doctor and felt he had been prescribed medication to

  1. Praxis Note on Evaluating the outcome

    In my opinion, the wheelchair alarm approach has physical and emotional damages the resident's health which may further predispose her to falls. It has also dehumanizes her and has interfere with the resident's right to choice. I am aware that this is an ethical issue and I have decided to

  2. Praxis Note on Alzheimer's Disease

    I want to know their risk factors, their diagnostic guidelines, commonly used medications, and nursing caring and techniques involved. Analyze AD is the most common type of dementia, a clinical syndrome marked by progressive impairment of cognitive functions that does not affect by delirium.

  1. Origin,causes and treatments of gastroenteritis using a case study

    7 Differential diagnosis: Not all diarrhoea or vomiting is gastroenteritis and other causes must be considered.Some other causes of diarrhoea or vomiting but not usually both are:Urinary tract infection, Constipation with overflow, Gastritis, perhaps from NSAID or alcohol abuse, Emesis gravidarum or, in late pregnancy, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia and Inflammatory bowel disease.

  2. reflective essay on placement

    The Roper - Logan - Tierney Model also includes empathizing with the patient and helping him to adjust to his new environment, being sensitive to the patient's feelings and emotions as it involves intruding upon his personal privacy. Some of the other skills used in this model are good communication

  1. Anaphylactoid reactions from Iopromide in patient with angina undergoing angiography - Pharmacovigilance Brief Report ...

    This mechanism results bronchoconstriction, with the signs and symptoms of pulmonary complication. This relate to the patient appears flushed, experiences short of breath, wheezing, that somewhat similar to acute asthma attack. These symptoms may further cause hypoxia. Lack of oxygen in the central nervous system may result in dizziness and confusion.

  2. This report aims to outline the processes, eligibility criteria and Medicare funding involved with ...

    child?s right to grow up in a complete family is an issue requiring careful consideration. Critics also argue that the child has the right to know the identity of his/her father (or in this case, the sperm donor), implying that the state has a responsibility to ensure that the child is able to identify their biological origin.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work